First Indian woman IAS officer, Anna Rajam Malhotra passed away at 91 in Mumbai on Monday. She served in the Madras State under then Chief Minister C. Rajagopalachari and at the Central government. Tamil Nadu cadre IAS officer Santha Sheela Nair paid tribute to the woman hero.
“She was a great lady and she was my role model. Whenever people appreciated me, they used to say my actions resembled hers a lot,” said Santha Sheela Nair.
Anna joined the civil services in 1951 and opted for the Madras cadre. Even though the interview board sought to convince her that the Foreign Service and the Central Services were “suitable for women”, she insisted on joining the civil service.
“In the event of marriage, your service will be terminated,” said the rules when she joined the service. However, the rules were changed thereafter.
She worked under seven Chief Ministers including with Rajiv Gandhi, when as an MP in 1982, he was in charge of the Asian Games project in Delhi. Anna also accompanied former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi on an eight-nation tour and had served in the personnel section of the Union Home Ministry.